Feast of Corpus Christi: ‘Communion feeds and nourishes us for eternal life’, says Fr Glynn
Speaking to the Catholics across the Archdiocese of Perth, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation Fr Vincent Glynn explained how Jesus is the “living bread which comes down from Heaven”. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
By Theresia Titus
The real presence of the body and blood of Christ is given to us not just to be admired and adored, but as real food and real drink to be eaten and shared in a way that Jesus himself comes to live and dwell in us, Father Vincent Glynn emphasised while celebrating this year’s Corpus Christi Sunday.
The Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation celebrated the Mass, which was livestreamed via social media, on 14 June from St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House, joined by concelebrant Cathedral Assistant Priest Fr Richard Rutkauskas.
The Mass was streamed live and concelebrated by Cathedral Assistant Priest Father Richard Rutkauskas. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Fr Glynn began his homily by stating that the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is a reminder that “we were acknowledging a central belief of the Church handed down do us throughout the centuries, a belief that Christ was present”.
“What brought us together was not only our common faith, shared in and through baptism but also our common identity, understanding and belief as Catholics in the Eucharistic presence of Christ expressed through the sacramental sign of bread,” Fr Glynn said.
“Gathered as Church we become what we believe. Gathered as Church, whether in our homes, whether in real-time or via computers and smart televisions today we also become the body of Christ, a sign to the world around us of Christ present,” he continued.
Fr Glynn explained how – based on the theme “God gave them bread from heaven to eat” – the Gospel of John 6:51-58 “expresses to us the growing understanding of the eucharistic theology found in the early Church”.
“Jesus teaches that, yes, God gave them bread from Heaven to eat but that the bread sent from Heaven today by the Father is not like the manna of the Old Testament, it is indeed Himself,” Fr Glynn stated.
“He, Jesus, is the living bread. He, Jesus, is the bread sent from Heaven by the Father; the living bread that when eaten will not just satisfy physical hunger or give life but will satisfy in such way that one is never hungry again and that both gives and leads to eternal life.
“He teaches that ‘this living bread is his flesh, given for the life of the world’, given, as we now understand today through his suffering and death on the cross and made available to us through his resurrection.
Fr Glynn also reminded the congregation that it’s a great gift to “share in the very life of Jesus himself who is food for our journey” each time we receive Holy Communion. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
Jesus’ words in the Gospel, Fr Glynn explained, are one of the sources of the key teaching of Jesus and the early Church, that is believed and expressed in theological language today as the “Real Presence”.
“Our belief that the risen Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity is present sacramentally through the appearance of bread and wine and this bread and wine become by the power the Holy Spirit the Body and Blood of Christ: the bread of life, the Lamb of God,” he said.
Fr Glynn reminded Perth Catholics that it is a great gift to have an intimate sharing and indwelling with Jesus which takes place each time we receive Holy Communion.
“The blessing cup that we bless is a communion [a common union] with the Blood of Christ, and the bread we break is a communion with the body of Christ,” he uttered.
“When we receive Holy Communion we receive Christ himself as real food and real drink, that feeds and nourishes us for the journey of life, that feeds and nourishes us for eternal life.
“In the eating and drinking, Jesus enters into communion with us, we receive Christ and Christ receives us. We share fully in his life and he shares in our life. What a treasure!”
Fr Glynn concluded his homily by inviting those who could not share the Body and Blood of Christ fully in Holy Communion to turn their hunger into prayer and grow a deeper appreciation of what happens in the Mass and the great gift received in the Blessed Sacrament.